Lamb of God Drummer Chris Adler Reveals His Warm-Up Routine
Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler is a big part of the band’s heavy, hard-hitting sound. His drumming is not only technically impressive, but also imaginative and well-tailored to push the band’s songs over the edge into metal nirvana. He recently got together with Music Radar for its Drum Expo to fill in Lamb of God fans on how he warms up before a show.
It’s a common saying among rock bands that the drummer’s driving the bus. If that’s true, Lamb of God is riding a super-powered, nitro-fueled monster-truck of a bus. In order to maintain all of that horsepower, Adler goes through a long and intensive warm-up session before every show.
To start the warm-up process, Adler uses a metronome or drum machine to set the tempo. He always starts out at 155 beats per minute, and does 16th notes on the kick drum, keeping tempo with a simple snare beat. He said he doesn’t do much with his hands when he starts out, and instead just focuses on his feet.
Adler keeps that up for five minutes. Then he takes a break, comes back, and bumps up the tempo by five bpm. He keeps that up for about an hour and a half, until his legs are worn out. He said that exercise ensures that he’s ready to play any show anywhere.
The human machine gun also got into how he practices at home, and how he comes up with a lot of the triplet beats he uses for Lamb of God songs. He said that, since around 2003, he’s been applying the paradiddle exercise, an exercise people use for snare drum practice, to his feet. That’s another routine he credits with his ability to produce complex kick drum rhythms.
Getting ready for their 2009 release, ‘Wrath,’ Adler started working on developing his hand speed and technique. He used the same approach that worked for the development of kick drum prowess. Using a click track (he said he doesn’t use one live, but practicing with a click has helped him be a more solid drummer), he increases the tempo incrementally, playing various rolls and beats. He said sometimes he’d remove a tom from the kit, forcing him to adapt his technique. Adler also adds that sometimes results in finding new ways of doing things that he might not otherwise think of.